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Rishabh Pant surpassed all expectations in Tests, will improve in limited-overs: Sanjay Bangar

Rishabh Pant surpassed all expectations in Tests, will improve in limited-overs: Sanjay Bangar

New Delhi, Sep 11: Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar has praised young India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for his batting exploits in Test cricket and believes the youngster would replicate the same in the white-ball cricket with the passage of time.

In an interview with Cricbuzz, Bangar reflected on his five-year stint with the Indian Cricket Team and talked at length about Pant's form, the necessary adjustments made by the batsmen under his watch, and about the rumours of his alleged tiff with a selector. Bangar's stint as India's batting coach came to an end with the conclusion of West Indies tour.

Entire support staff except Bangar was reappointed by the selectors while former India cricketer Vikram Rathour will succeed the former as the new batting coach.

'Pant is a thinking cricketer'

'Pant is a thinking cricketer'

When asked if Pant is falling prey to eagerness, Bangar said, "Rishabh has surpassed all expectations in Tests. He is a thinking cricketer and very courageous in playing the quickest of bowlers, but it takes time for any stroke player who is so young to understand his game in ODIs, where that urge to control the aerial shot gets him out. A lot of times middle-order batsmen have to play as per the needs of the team. We worked on how he could play along the ground initially and strike rotation."

'Worked differently with different players'

'Worked differently with different players'

Talking about the success of Indian batsmen under his watch in the last five years Bangar said, "Virat always looks to iron out deficiencies. We worked on his alignments, positioning on the crease, his approach in seaming conditions. Shikhar was initially considered to be an off-side player, he used to stay beside the line of the ball. We worked on how he could get behind the line and open up scoring areas and overcome his dismissals against the short ball.

"With Rohit, we worked on his head position to overcome problems against incoming deliveries from right/left arm angles. In Pujara's case, we worked on reducing the width of his stance and being more upright. It is to their credit that they worked to unlearn old methods."

India's top order did exceedingly well in the last five years across formats and the batting coach did a phenomenal job in helping the batters fine tune their stance and make those technical adjustments. Virat Kohli slammed 43 centuries, Rohit Sharma notched up 28 tons and Shikhar Dhawan 18 and Cheteshwar Pujara has scored 12 Test ton in the same period.

On what went wrong with Rahane and Vijay

On what went wrong with Rahane and Vijay

When asked about the dip in Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay's performance in the last five years, Bangar said, "Rahane missed out on converting a lot of 50s into 100s in the last 18 months and contributed in all our overseas victories in Johannesburg, Nottingham and Adelaide. I was happy for him that he eventually crossed the three-figure mark in West Indies, where he played a pivotal role in seaming conditions."

"As far as Vijay goes, when a player is playing only one format, it adds to the challenge of immediately finding rhythm in international cricket if you are opening in tough overseas conditions."

On rumours of fight with Devang Gandhi

On rumours of fight with Devang Gandhi

Talking about the rumours of him having a fight with selector Devang Gandhi he clarified, "The contents of that report were fictitious. I had a very cordial discussion relating to my presentation with Devang, three days after the selection process got over."

On confusion over No. 4

On confusion over No. 4

India's number four spot has been a matter of concern over the last few years and the team management hasn't found any permanent solution for the same.

"The entire team management and selectors were part of the decision making for the No. 4 spot. The choice relied upon current form, fitness criteria, whether he was a left-hander, whether he could bowl, etc.," Bangar told Cricbuzz.

Bangar, who had been associated with Team India for a period of five years also stated that he was disappointed for sure but it didn't last for more than a few days.

"Being disappointed is a natural feeling, which lasted for just a few days. But I thank the BCCI and all the coaches, Duncan (Fletcher), Anil (Kumble) and Ravi (Shastri), for giving me an opportunity to serve Indian cricket for five years," Bangar said.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 16:52 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 11, 2019
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